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Illustrator: GIF files ends up in smaller file size, bad quality and lost transparency

Posted on 2005-03-17
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-19

I am using Adobe Illustrator CS
The original file created is 400K.

The problem is as follows:

When the file created is saved as a GIF file
1. It reduces the size to just 2.24K
2. The quality of the image is lost.
3. The transparency (50% opaque) of the white rectangles are also lost.

What could possibly be the solution for all of the above mentioned problems?

Please advise.

Thank you.

Question by:likhith123
  • 2
LVL 38

Accepted Solution

lherrou earned 1200 total points
ID: 13568066

GIF is a compression algorithm. Unlike some of the other methods of compressing a file, GIF compresses the file by reducing it to a maximum of 256 colors. In the original specifications, that was the same 256 which we call the "web-safe" colors, but most programs these days can reduce to any set of colors, in a range from 2 - 256. Typically, when you reduce to some subset of colors which are as close as possible to the ones in the image, they are referred to as "optimized" colors. In addition, transparency is supported in the GIF algorithm, but it's an all-or-nothing soft of thing. You should be able to select the color you wish to be transparent - and then the base color of your web page (and that's pretty much the only use for these GIF images) will show through. In addition, Illustrator allows you to create a lossy version of a GIF file, which introduces compression artifacts similar to a heavily-compressed JPG, given the level of compression you describe, this is probably part of the problem.

1) If you are not already, convert your Illustrator graphic to RGB color (via File -> Document Color Mode)
2) Make sure you are using an Optimized palette, not a Standard or System palette.
3) Make sure the "lossy" option is turned off.

Good luck!
LVL 30

Assisted Solution

GrandSchtroumpf earned 800 total points
ID: 13581513
Use the PNG image format if you want alpha transparency support (save it in RGB mode, not in indexed mode).
But remember that current versions of Win/IE do not support the alpha transparency, so it will always look as if the image was on a white background.  All other browsers should support it, including Mac/IE5.
LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 13616231
Thank you for the points, glad we could help you with your problem.

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